MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket. Under his leadership, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup 2007, ODI World Cup 2011 and the 2013 Champions Trophy. The 39-year-old has also performed exceptionally well in the Indian Premier League (IPL), helping his side – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) – win the reputed tournament thrice.
However, a remark by the Ranchi-lad in IPL 2020 panned all eyes. After a loss to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 37, Dhoni asserted that the youngsters of his team weren’t competent enough to deserve a chance in the playing XI.
“There were few chances given to the youngsters. Maybe we didn’t see the kind of spark that they could’ve given us to say, okay you know, push the experienced guys and make space for them,” Dhoni had said in the post-match press conference.
CSK wicket-keeper batter N Jagadeesan, who made his IPL debut last season, in a recent interview defended Dhoni and argued that the media outlets misunderstood the latter’s comments.
“What he [Dhoni] actually said was completely misunderstood by the press,” Jagadeesan told Sportseekda.
Expounding his statement, Jagadeesan enunciated that Dhoni’s opinion was a way to boost the senior players to perform better as they couldn’t be pinpointed owing to their stature in the team.
“It was not about the youngsters, Rutu and I did well, to be honest. What people don’t get is that he’s someone who’s trying to boost the entire team, the seniors as well. When you have such legends in the team, you can’t pinpoint each of them. There needs to be a way where the seniors are backed up. For them to be backed up, something had to be done. And after his comment, we did well and the team did really well,” the Coimbatore-born adumbrated.
Though CSK couldn’t qualify for the play-offs, the comment did work as they went onto win three games out of the last four matches, with youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad even smashing three consecutive half-centuries.
Meanwhile, in IPL 2021, CSK are positioned at the second spot with five wins in seven matches and pitted as one of the chief contenders to clinch the trophy.